Install new higher spec hard drive

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by danjpamer, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. danjpamer macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2014
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to help a friend out with an old MacBook Pro from back in 2008, this is the model:

    The hard drive died and I've managed to recover all the files. Ideally I'd like to buy a new hard drive, install the latest Mac OS X and get the machine back up and running without the need for a new one.

    At the time of purchase the computer came with a 250 GB Serial ATA (5400 RPM) drive. My question is could the machine handle an upgrade, ideally I'd like to go for this:

    It's a 2.5-Inch 500GB 7mm SATA III 7200RPM. Would the old Mac be compatible with SATA III and the extra RPM?

    Thanks for the help
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    That drive will work fine. SATA is backwards compatible.

    That said, the 7200RPM drive may use more power and decrease battery life. I would be surprised if there was a noticeable difference in speed going to the 7200RPM drive in that old machine. If it was me, I would just go with a cheaper 5400RPM like this.
  3. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    From this thread:

    I put the comments about the drive's performance in bold to highlight them. The drive is fast for an HD (apparently approaching SATA I throughput on media to system transfers, not drive cache to system transfers) and I think the power consumption is actually lower. If it's the one I'm thinking of be very, very careful not to push on the paper thin drive body.

    Dirt cheap too, for 500GB.

    If you're thinking about using Yosemite on it you may want to check out the Yosemite threads and see if there are problems with that OS and the system - there seem to be a lot of them. Also a lot of people don't like the "new" look of Yosemite.
  4. RedRaven571 macrumors 65816


    Mar 13, 2009
    For $10 more, you can get 1TB, same Amazon page, click on 1TB 7200RPM, just saying......
  5. ZVH macrumors 6502

    Apr 14, 2012
    If the 1TB drive is the new generation that would definitely be the deal. You need to look at the specs for the specific drive and make sure it's the new high density because there are still a lot of the older Hitachi's still on the market. The new generation stuff was just released in the last year or so, I believe.

    Any way you look at it, it's all so low cost. It's unbelievable.
  6. TheBSDGuy, Nov 21, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014

    TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2012
    I was looking at the specs at:

    A buyer needs to be careful because it's easy to get their stuff mixed up. If you look at the page, they have the following:

    Travelstar Z7K500 (7200RPM, AF format as 512e, Media Rate: 1369 Mb/sec)
    Travelstar Z7K320 (7200RPM, Normal 512 sectors, Media Rate: 1334 Mb/sec)
    Travelstar Z5K500 (5400RPM, AF format as 512e, Media Rate: 1087 Mb/sec)
    Travelstar Z5K320 (5400RPM, Normal 512 sectors, Media Rate: 994 Mb/sec)

    The part numbers with 320 in them can be 320, 250, or 160 GB in size) and the media rate is the disk to system maximum transfer rate, not the buffer to system rate which will be

    The only 1TB drive I see in that set is this one:

    Travelstar Z5K1000 (5400RPM, AF format as 512e, Media Rate: 1061 Mb/sec)

    After I made the original post I found this as well:

    Travelstar 7K1000 (7200RPM, AF format as 512e, Media Rate: 1284 Mb/sec)

    Generally the 7200 RPM drives are about 30% faster than the 5400 RPM counterparts, which shouldn't surprise anyone. They also all have high areal densities which explains the high media to system rates. Older HDs will likely be about 50% slower than any of these.

    Hitachi also has a few 2.5" Enterprise drives that are even faster, but they're also pretty pricey (around $200).

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